21st Century Living

Kindness Fridays

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Having surgery, regardless of how minor, is on the bottom of my list of enjoyable activities, but my recent cataract surgeries contained a huge kindness element for me that raised that procedure closer to the top.

Plain and simple, Pacific Cataract & Laser Institute located in Bellevue, WA, knows how to treat their patients. From initial consultation to post-surgery goodbyes, each staff member offered kindness of which many medical practices aren’t convinced is necessary. Keep in mind, PCLI is an extremely busy medical and surgical office. They perform approximately 50 cataract surgeries two days a week so the comings and goings of their patients make for an oftentimes full waiting room, an always busy front desk, and a maxed out medical staff that never gave the impression that you were just another business statistic for the books.

A separate element of kindness that existed while waiting in the pre-surgery area with other cataract surgery candidates was the camaraderie that existed amongst us. Some were there for their second eye, others, their first. For my first eye, I was extraordinarily nervous in that pre-surgery room, knowing what was coming next: numbing injections into the eyeball. After receiving said injections, I sat in the next surgery waiting area adjacent to and visible by the other candidates awaiting their injections. When the nurse came to usher me into the surgical suite, I waved to those patients and said, “Goodbye my wonderful fans!” drawing a laugh from everyone there that could be heard by my husband in the general waiting area of the medical practice. Perhaps that served as a kindness to those Nervous Nellies and Neds awaiting their next step, I certainly hope so.

And now some more kudos. My personal eye doctor, Susan Wynne of Eastside Vision Care, who referred me to PCLI, mirrors the same commitment to customer service and kindness. Dr. Wynne provides the day after, week after, and month after follow up care post surgery for me. After my first cataract surgery, I more or less got freaked out because of the vision anomalies experienced during my recovery. She compassionately provided a clear explanation for what I was experiencing; she talked me down from my immediate concerns that one could characterize as being somewhat anxious, to believing my vision going forward was forever ruined. Prior to becoming a patient of Dr. Wynne’s earlier this year, my husband and I had little satisfaction for the eyecare we received over the years. We would dread the yearly vision exams because the various doctors with whom we met a) seemed not to care, and b) didn’t provide the type of attention we felt our eyes demanded. Dr. Wynne is certainly the exception.

So, there you have it: two medically focused happy endings provide this week’s edition of Kindness Fridays.

SEE you next week!

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Lighten up Mondays

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U.S. Tax Day cometh!!! Some taxing jokes for you.

  • People who file their taxes on the first day are the grown-up version of the kids who ask the teacher for extra homework in school.
  • Worried about an IRS audit? Avoid what’s called a red flag. That’s something the IRS always looks for. For example, say you have some money left in your bank account after paying taxes. That’s a red flag. (Jay Leno)
  • I’m not going to pay taxes. When they say I’m going to prison, I’ll say ‘No, Prisons cost taxpayers a lot of money. You keep what it would have cost to incarcerate me, and we’ll call it even.’ (Jimmy Kimmel)
  • Why won’t sharks attack tax inspectors? Professional courtesy. (unknown)
  • Children may be deductible, but they are still taxing. (unknown)
  • Tax Day is the day that ordinary Americans send their money to Washington, D.C., and wealthy Americans send their money to the Cayman Islands. (Jimmy Kimmel)
  • Death and Taxes: Of life’s two certainties taxes is the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
  • On my income tax Form 1040 it says “Check this box if you are blind.” I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away. (Tom Lehrer)

 

Kindness Fridays

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My sister, Mary, is one of the kindest people I know. We are only eight months apart in age. You see, Mary was adopted by our parents after our mother suffered three miscarriages. Then, as oftentimes happens, once the adoption procedures commenced my mother got pregnant with me. Growing up, Mary and I always had each other as friends; we always had a playmate. People mistakenly thought we were twins; that’s how close we were, and still are.

So this wonderful, extraordinarily artistic sister of mine did something for me in response to my recent left eye cataract surgery. (See her website that spotlights some of her paintings.)

My siblings and I were raised as Roman Catholics. In our adulthood, we have followed different spiritual paths so that none of us follow the religion in which we were raised. With that said, however, Mary went to Mass the day after my eye surgery because she felt that our parents would also be there and would provide an added prayer boost to Mary’s intentions.

My sister feels very strongly about her connection with our long-deceased parents as prayer partners during Mass and has gone an additional time just this week with the intention that my left eye experiences 100% healing. She will also go next Wednesday so that my right cataract surgery that takes place the day before (April 17th) will be a complete success with no complications.

Mary has a very full and busy life with 5 children and 9 grandchildren. She volunteers every Tuesday morning to collect donated food from local grocery stores for her church’s lunch ministry. She is very attentive to her mother-in-law whose failing health requires a great deal of Mary’s and her husband’s time. She drives friends to doctor appointments, babysits her grandchildren…you get the idea. She’s busy, so adding yet another To Do to her growing list of responsibilities truly says a lot about her.

To be sure, we need more people like my sister who is the embodiment of kindness. Mary’s light shines in many places, near and far, a light that has landed on many over the years.

Lighten up Mondays

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Through today’s Monday funny, I’m venting about the State of Washington Department of Revenue website where I tried everything I possibly could to log in and file my quarterly business taxes ($0) for the first quarter of 2018. I used the super-secret-super-secure-your-life-depends-on-it Log in identity and password and nope! It didn’t work. I wrote them a missive by email over the weekend and will await their pearls of wisdom so I can be a fine, upstanding business person.

So lucky you, here are some still relevant statements about the government made by Will Rogers many years ago:

  • “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
  • “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when a baby gets hold of a hammer.”
  • “The budget is a mythical bean bag. Congress votes mythical beans into it, and then tries to reach in and pull real beans out.”
  • “If you ever injected truth into politics you’d have no politics.”
  • “There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.”
  • “The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf.”
  • “The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.”

Kindness Fridays

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The other day I was in the clothing department of a store I frequent, found the item I wanted to purchase, and made my way to the sales counter…with a 20% coupon in hand.

“Do you have any other coupons?” the salesperson asked.

“Why, no, just the one.”

“You can ask me.”

Not certain what I was supposed to do at that point I asked, “Do you have any coupons?”

Yep, she sure did, which she scanned bringing the price of the item even lower…almost to the point where I was wondering if they would owe me money, rather than the other way around.

The salesperson didn’t have to be generous and kind like that, but she was.

And that’s my Kindness Friday for this week. Don’t you just love it?

Lighten up Mondays

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It seems appropriate that today’s funnies will focus on eyesight because I’m having cataract surgery on my left eye today, hoping for better focus.

  • If rolling your eyes burned calories, for many people Facebook would be their gym.
  • Husband: “I think I’m doing fine. Do you really think I need glasses?” Wife: “Well, considering you’re trying to make a phone call using the TV remote, yes.”
  • I wear glasses so I can dramatically remove them to display anger. It was awkward trying to do that with contact lenses.
  • Women, you know you’re getting old when you have to wear your glasses in the shower to shave your legs.
  • Did you hear the joke about the optician who fell into the lens grinder? He made a spectacle of himself.
  • George’s long life was drawing to a close. His family surrounds him on his deathbed. George asks to see his optometrist. So his family gets Dr. Kaplan who on seeing George, says he hates seeing him like that and asks if there’s anything he can possibly do for him. George responds, “Doc, before I go, there’s one thing I have to know. Which one was clearer, A or B?

Kindness Fridays

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This week’s kindness illustrates a lesson my maternal grandmother passed on to my mother, who then passed it on to me.

The best way to paint this picture is to assume you’re in the kitchen, you pull out a gallon of milk from the refrigerator, take it to the counter to pour yourself a glass of milk and the full glass of milk spills on the counter, over the edge of the counter, and onto the kitchen floor.

If another family member is in the near vicinity, that family member intervenes, tells the person who inadvertently spilled the milk to leave the kitchen, and the other family member cleans it up.

“But Mom, I spilled it, I should have to clean it up.”

“You didn’t do it on purpose, Irene. You already feel bad for spilling the milk, let me lessen your burden by cleaning it up for you.”

And that’s what happened throughout my childhood, and it’s what happens now in my adulthood. A little kindness goes a very long way…all the way from Grandma Conroy’s Edmonton, Alberta kitchen in the 1920s thru 1940s, all the way to mine in Redmond, Washington in the 21st-century.